How to find the right janitorial service
For years, the value of janitorial services has been undervalued by some businesses and their employees. However, companies like Eagle Enterprises — a full-service janitorial company providing services throughout southern Wisconsin — are now at the forefront of helping business owners move forward safely and smartly during a global pandemic.
“The industry is being recognized more now,” says Eagle president Amy Gottheardt-Muench, whose father, Rick, founded the company in 1992. “A lot of people just want the cheapest option, but the pandemic has helped them realize that cleaning is actually an important function, and they’re now giving it the respect it deserved all along.”
Eagle, a National Women’s Business Enterprise-certified company, recently opened a Madison office, and it offers full-service janitorial services, hard-floor care and maintenance, carpet and furniture cleaning, and more. No contracts are required, pricing is transparent, and — perhaps most critical in the COVID-19 era — Eagle’s cleaning crews are trained in COVID-19 disinfection processes that include touchpoint cleaning and electrostatic spraying (which allows disinfectant to dwell and dry on surfaces for a deeper clean).
As more people return to the workplace, the emphasis on cleanliness and sanitization will be greater than ever. Keeping employees safe by vetting janitorial services and finding the right fit will be paramount, Gottheardt-Muench says. She offers the following three suggestions:
- Understand that the cleaning industry is not regulated. While there are organizations that provide their own certifications to cleaning companies and their crews, industrywide oversight is lacking, according to Gottheardt-Muench. “There is no barrier to entry, and there are different levels of what people consider to be clean. Business owners need to be very careful to vet cleaning companies thoroughly, making sure that the contractor they entrust their cleaning to has the knowledge and experience necessary to follow all governmental guidelines and best practices. Otherwise, you run the risk of ineffective or sub-par cleaning.”
- Treat the vetting process the same as you would for any other service provider. Ask questions. “Eagle will tell you how many hours you are buying and what wage we will pay our people — the two driving factors for price — and any company not willing to divulge that should send up a red flag,” Gottheardt-Muench says. “Our cleaners also go through extensive training and are tested on best cleaning practices.” What’s more, Eagle managers inspect the work cleaners do on a regular basis, and they have fewer buildings to oversee than managers of other cleaning services. She recommends taking the time to check references too.
- Know what you’re paying for. Most cleaning services are priced based on the method of cleaning used. For example, “cleaning,” “sanitizing,” and “disinfecting” don’t all mean the same thing. While cleaning is the removal of unwanted material from surfaces, the process doesn’t necessarily kill germs. Sanitizing lowers the number of organisms on a surface using an EPA-certified chemical but disinfecting actually kills them.
“This is not an easy service to buy,” Gottheardt-Muench admits. “It’s pretty easy for someone to promise the world, and that makes it difficult for the buyer to make an informed decision. So, the more information you can gather, the better.”